Written by Phil Cerroni
Perhaps the most unique and extensive congregation of wine fanatics in the United States, TEXSOM, hosted by the Guild of Sommeliers and the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas, paired wine education and top tier collaboration among sommeliers (wine experts) and producers from Aug. 8-12.
For the ninth year running, the Irving-based event, hosted at the Four Seasons in Las Colinas, was a catalyst for the dissemination of fine wines to tables, both private and commercial, across America.
“This is the only event of its kind in America, to my knowledge,” said Jonathan Mitchell, The Wine Director at Restaurant Stella in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. “Combining the amount of professionals, the amount of wines that are offered in two days and...the symposiums, the seminars, the countless amount of people who are in the business who are here at one time- (that) doesn’t exist anywhere...
“It’s extremely focused. And again, this is the entire world of wine represented in one area for this small weekend. There’s really nothing like it.”
Alongside its mission of bringing the greatest palates in the American wine community to Irving, TEXSOM has the role of introducing Texas wines to the rest of the country.
Even though the state’s wines have been steadily receiving national exposure, there's more to do, according to James Tidwell, the Beverage Master at the Four Seasons in Las Colinas and a Master Sommelier. (This is the highest level of expertise in the industry. Only 136 individuals have achieved the title from the Court of Master Sommeliers – and 30 of them attended TEXSOM.) Tidwell said the conference creates an opportunity for local vineyards and wineries to connect with potential clients right from their back porch.